Opening date of Honiton’s new garden centre revealed

James Trevett with his garden centre plan. Ref mhh 27 17TI 6433. Picture: Terry Ife

James Trevett with his garden centre plan. Ref mhh 27 17TI 6433. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Honiton’s new garden centre is set to open in the first week of November, the Herald can reveal.

Work has now got under way to construct the store on the former Meadow View Nursery site in Gittisham.

Businessman James Trevett is overseeing the development, which, if completed on time, will be ready to officially open on November 1.

It has been almost one year since Mr Trevett was revealed as the driving force behind the new garden centre.

Work on the site - earmarked to only take six months - halted as quickly as it began after a section of a Bronze Age settlement, thought to date back more than 3,000 years, was unearthed last November.

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Large postholes - thought to represent the former gateway to the enclosure - and the remains of a round house were found.

Mr Trevett, who formerly managed Sidmouth Garden Centre, said: “As soon as we knew we were going to miss the chance to open in April, we had to come to terms with that.

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“If we had opened now, the season has drawn to a close, meaning we would have not been able to hit the ground running.

“The fact the opening has been delayed has given us time to finalise the smaller details.

“Opening in November means we should have a really good stab at Christmas and let people know we are there.”

Once built, the new Combe Garden Centre will offer 1,044sqm of retail space, covered and open sales areas and 43 parking spaces.

Honiton’s new garden centre has created between seven and ten jobs.

Mr Trevett said: “I had CVs from the moment planning application went in.

“All I can ask now of everybody is to please bear with us!

“Setting up things has been the easy bit - running it is the hard bit and I hope we can show people what we can do.”

Mr Trevett said he is hoping to get some old faces from Sidmouth Garden Centre to join his team of staff. Coincidentally, Sidmouth Garden Centre has recently been put on the market for £900,000, just three years after national company Wyevale Garden Centre purchased the business from former owner Ian Barlow.

Prior to submitting his application last year, Mr Trevett worked with Combe Estate for nearly a year before submitting the proposals to East Devon District Council.

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